Author Archives: Kimberly Zapert

Your Health Is Not Defined by a Diagnosis

After recently honoring Rare Disease Day on Feb. 28, I’m contemplating the obvious: A person is not defined by a diagnosis. This usually means they don’t allow a condition to limit their enjoyment of life or their accomplishments. But that’s not what I’m talking about — not directly, anyway. I’m…

Here’s How I Am Coping with the Corona Crisis

Too often while pursuing answers to health questions, people with an Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are told that their physical symptoms must be caused by stress, or perhaps they’re psychosomatic, because no obvious explanations are available. I related my own frustration about this to my physical therapist several years ago while he…

Distinguishing Between My Identity and My Roles in Life

Change happens. I have had many roles in my life, including being a daughter, wife, and mother. I’ve also been a student, artisan, neighbor, patient, and advocate. You probably have had similar experiences. Roles have come, and roles have gone. It’s part of the natural waxing and waning of life.

Here’s How I Made the Holiday Season More Enjoyable

Usually, negative feelings are rooted in unmet expectations. Examining those expectations and deciding if they are reasonable can be particularly helpful when life changes. I recently adjusted my expectations for the holiday season, and now that we have made it through and are settling into the new year, I can…

Acting Up, Ehlers-Danlos Style

A few months ago, our community’s theater company held auditions for two productions. At the suggestion of someone whose opinions I trust, I contacted the theater company and arranged to audition for one. The river that flows from Egypt straight to my house In my excitement to try something new…

My Disabled Parking Placard Has Expanded My World

In the not-too-distant past, I hated shopping. Walking across parking lots and winding my way through store aisles was incredibly tiring, thanks to my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and comorbid conditions. Prolonged standing and walking led to severe abdominal pains and vertigo. Sometimes I would have to squat in…

Let’s Dish About POTS

Many people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) experience a form of dysautonomia called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Dysautonomia is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system, which controls the body’s subconscious functions including digestion, heart rate, perspiration, and breathing. Symptoms of POTS, predominantly an elevated heart rate, are…